Choice and control are more than just keywords; they’re integral to providing the best possible support. Anyone accessing disability support services under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) or as part of a private support package has the right to choice and control. They have the power to manage their own care.

An NDIS Support Plan is the typical support system to help ensure that people living with a disability can outline their goals, choices and wishes when receiving support from a disability service provider. This document helps you, your family and carers to put your needs at the centre

Why choice and control is important in the NDIS

The NDIS has its own definition of choice and control to highlight its importance:

The right for a participant to make their own decisions about their supports. This can involve choosing the supports they receive, including how the supports are provided, having a range of service providers to work with, and having the option to manage their own plan funding.

If you take a deeper look at both words, choice is also about having options; you have the right to choose your own goals, pick your preferred service provider and access the services that best connect with your goals, needs and preferences.

Control is having the power to ensure those decisions are taking place. So rather than having just a choice and not being listened to, your voice is heard and changes to an NDIS plan can be made or you could swap service providers.

How Support Plans give you the power

In many ways, Support Plans are like a diary. You can write down your goals but instead of only sharing them with yourself, they ensure a service provider is working with you to achieve them. 

It could be as simple as wanting to be more independent and doing the weekly food shop yourself or taking part in community groups and activities. For both short-term and long-term goals, everyday disability support services can make a huge difference. And it’s essential to remember that these goals can always change over time as your needs change.

Importantly, to achieve your goals and receive NDIS funding and support you must include them in your NDIS plan. Otherwise, they may not see it as a reasonable or necessary support. 

What should be considered in a Support Plan?

Regardless of accessing disability services through the NDIS or privately, your Support Plan will have the following key features:

Who you are: By setting the stage at the start of your Plan, you can give the service provider a really clear picture of who you are. This can include your upbringing, past and current health status, living environment, family support, personality, etc.

Your goals: If your long-term goal is to move out and into Specialist Disability Accommodation, what are the smaller goals to help you get there? 

They could include developing social skills to be more confident living with strangers, finding the right mobility aids to help you be engaged with the community or maintaining a routine where you can still take part in essential therapeutic activities.

Required supports: What will you need to help you achieve those goals? This is incredibly important. It’s also where choice comes into play because not all disability service providers may offer the support services you need.

The NDIS features three main support budgets: Core, Capacity Building and Capital. While each one may overlap, they do target different things. For example, supports funded under Capacity Building would be tailored to helping with behaviour changes or engaging in study, while Capital is focused on assistive technology or home modifications. 

Choosing your support provider

Establishing a Support Plan for disability support services can seem daunting at first. But don’t worry, NDIS Plan Management services and Support Coordination can help anyone to make the most of their NDIS Plan. 

You always have the choice to pick a service provider that will listen to you and strive towards shared goals.